Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)

North Okanagan landlord’s home trashed by tenants

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

The first problem Wes Burden noticed at his Spallumcheen four-bedroom, two-bath rental home was water on the basement ceiling.

That would become part of Burden’s burden.

Burden’s tenants of 10 years, given a two-month eviction notice in March, bolted from the rental home in the middle of the night but not before essentially trashing the entire home.

“I had to fill out paperwork because you’re not allowed to just enter the home, you have to give the tenants written notice that you want to come in,” said Burden, a retired saw filer, on Monday, April 12. He rented the upstairs portion to the tenants who were allowed by Burden to use the basement for storage, and said he conducted home inspections quarterly.

“When I saw the water on the ceiling in the basement, that’s when I went to get the keys and go in.”

Upstairs, Burden found every room “stacked to the ceiling with junk” and the tenants gone. Toilets were overflowing or plugged with feces and toilet paper and a five-gallon bucket had also been used as a toilet.

Animal feces were also found in the home.

The tenants had a couple of dogs and an unknown number of cats. The dogs and cats have been relocated to different facilities and are being cared for. One person who saw the rental home said the house “wasn’t fit for any animal,” and was stupified by what he had seen.

Plastic water bottles were laying on the floor, as were plastic bags and cat litter bags. Boxes were everywhere. Food was strewn about. Toiletries were left behind on and in a bathroom sink.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Burden.

Clean up to date has cost Burden an estimated $4,000, and he’s looking at anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000 to fix the house.

“I have to replace two rooms, tear up the floors and walls and sanitize it,” he said.

Burden had wanted to evict the tenants in 2020 but decided against it because of the pandemic.

Admitting that he and the tenants had some ups and downs over the nearly 10-years of them staying at his home, Burden gave them notice in March.

After he fixes the home, Burden said he will become more diligent as a landlord.

He’ll be more selective in who he chooses to rent the home, he said, and will do comprehensive background and reference checks. He plans to take a larger damage deposit and be more active in walking through the home.

“I’ve never had this problem before,” said Burden. “But this does make me scared.”

READ MORE: Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

READ MORE: Hundreds of nails placed on popular Penticton bike trail



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Rental accommodation

 

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Eric Schwenck was awarded the Train-to-Train Coach Goldie award by BC Alpine this year. He coached the Revelstoke Ski Club U14s last winter. (Katie Findlay photo)
Revelstoke Ski Club coach and volunteer recognized in the Goldie Awards

BC Alpine recognizes ski clubs, skiers and volunteers with awards every year

Moving the old jail from Third Street West to Carlson Street in May 1971. (Estelle Dickey photo; Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 9171)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for May 13

Local history as recorded by the newspaper of the day

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

Mario Bafaro awoke in the middle of the night on April 25 to his home on fire in the Big Eddy. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
‘I didn’t know I had so many friends’: Revelstoke fire victim thanks community for support

Mario Bafaro lost his home and dogs in a house fire on April 25

Tim Miller is selling his 76-foot steel bridge from his property in Burton, B.C. The bridge originates from the railway in Revelstoke. (Contributed)
For sale: a 100-ton 19th century bridge from Revelstoke

Bridge is now in Burton, B.C. and advertised for $40,000

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces campaign on the same day

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred at Lavington’s Aladdin Cockers by Carol and Robin Edwards, is currently the No. 1 ranked cocker spaniel in the U.S. and has drawn an invitation to the world’s most famous dog show, the Westminster Kennel Club event in New York, next month. (Photo submitted)
Okanagan-bred cocker spaniel to strut stuff at Westminster Kennel Club

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred by Lavington’s Aladdin Cockers, is ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

(Lindsey Roche/Contributed)
Kelowna children enjoy drive-in movie thanks to support from the community

A daycare in the Mission area gets creative during the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read